Answer to a question from a reader

I have been the victim of abuse and had to run away, which meant I couldn't renew my asylum. Can I still renew it?

The short answer

The Refugees Act says that if you have “just cause” for not renewing your permit in time, you may not pay a fine or be imprisoned.

The whole question

The father of my son has been abusing me so l had to run away before l could renew my asylum papers. This meant my asylum expired. But now l would like to renew my asylum. Can I still do so?

The long answer

Thank you for your email asking about renewing your expired Asylum permit, which expired after you ran away from the abuse by your son’s father.

The Refugees Act says that if you have “just cause” for not renewing your permit in time, you may not pay a fine or be imprisoned. The problem is that the Refugees Act doesn’t say exactly what “just cause” is, so it’s not clear if running away from the abuse you suffered would be considered just cause.

The best thing would be to get some legal help.

Here are the contact details for Lawyers for Human Rights or the Legal Resources Centre:

Lawyers for Human Rights:
Johannesburg office:
Tel: 011 339 1960
Cape Town office:
021 424 8561
email: lhr@lhr.org.za

Legal Resources Centre:
Email: info@lrc.org.za

Answered on July 29, 2019, 4:11 p.m.

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